After Unemployed Dad Saves Two Lives, NYC Vows To Find Him Job

Lawrence Bowers unemployed saved livesIt is only human nature: the more people who are watching a tragic scene, the less likely it is for any single person to help. That was the case last Friday morning, when Lawrence Bowers, 49, saw a figure floating face down in the water, with at least a hundred people watching, unmoved. Bowers jumped in, two weeks after saving a child from the same stormy surf.

Now New York Commissioner of Small Business Services Rob Walsh says that he is doing his best to find Bowers, an unemployed father of six, a job. He set Bowers up with the director of the city's career center, who helped him revise his resume, according to a center spokeswoman. She said Bowers has a few interviews lined up in the coming weeks.

When Bowers saw the man floating a stone's throw from the shore, he yanked off his shoes and socks without hesitation and jumped into the cold Atlantic. He raced against the currents, reports New York's Daily News. Bowers pounded through the waves, as the limp body floated out of his grasp. "I knew in my heart that if I didn't get to this man he could die," he said.

The man did not die. When Bowers was just a foot away, a rescue team arrived by helicopter to to pull the unresponsive 65-year-old man from the water and administer CPR. The man -- who reportedly had attempted suicide that warm June morning -- was hospitalized in serious condition. They rescuers took Bowers to the hospital too. "They thought I had fluid in my lungs," he said. "I was exhausted more than anything."

It wasn't Bowers first unplanned dip in the Coney Island waters. Only two weeks before, he had saved a child from the ocean after hearing the boy's mother cry out.

It is a psychological fact of man, that the more people who are watching a tragic scene, the less likely it is for any single person to help. But Commissioner Walsh saw that Bowers was struggling, too, and decided to throw him a lifeline.

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Bowers has been unemployed since losing his job as a porter at MCU Park, the stadium of minor league baseball team the Brooklyn Cyclones. And he has six mouths to feed. Walsh put Bowers in touch with Matthew Langella, director of his agency's career center, which is hiring 2,000 people for a sports arena currently under construction for the Brooklyn Nets basketball team, reports the Daily News.

"If I were in the Nets organization, and I wanted workers who go above and beyond the minimum requirements," Walsh said, "you can't do much better than someone who risked his life."

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Claire Gordon

Staff Writer

Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.

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Sounds like a good guy to me.

June 28 2012 at 5:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

WTH? 99+ people just stood there and watched??? Do they have souls? If they claim to be christians, how are they going to explain that one when they die? Karma balances and some day they'll need help. They better hope that the people around them are better human beings than they are.

June 28 2012 at 5:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Maybe a life guard job ??

June 27 2012 at 10:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just wondering.....he is having such a hard time finding work and is known as a double hero.....I wonder if he has some problems from his a criminal record

June 27 2012 at 8:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

An unemployed person needs work NOW!

June 27 2012 at 6:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Give this man a job now and cut the red tape.
God bless you Mr.Bowers

June 27 2012 at 5:11 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I hope you land a decent job. You have earned it.

June 27 2012 at 5:08 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Philly Pop

reminds me of lenny skutnik, we need more people like these two in our world. they should elect him to office, at least we will KNOW that he has people's best interest at heart.

June 27 2012 at 4:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Actually he saved TWO people! Way to go! I'd be embarrassed to be with any of the "guys" standing there doing nothing. Thank God for real men like you Mr. Bowers! Your family must be so proud, and us New Yorkers need more of you!

June 27 2012 at 3:35 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

We need a lot more MEN like Mr. Bowers. Feminism has killed so many. Thank you MEN for manning up!

June 27 2012 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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